Monday, December 31, 2018

Cherry Cordial Imperial Stout

Southern Tier's Blackwater Series is usually a treat. Let's see about their Cherry Cordial Imperial Stout, "a dessert beer with notes of chocolate and cherry." 10.0% alcohol.

Nice chocolate aroma with hints of cherries. Rich and luscious texture, full of creamy chocolate and sweet maraschino cherries. Some smoke and chalky hints too.

Definitely a sweet dessert beer, but some bitter relief does exist. Alcohol is noticeable, but dangerously hidden, and also helpful cutting into the sweetness. Chocolate flavors linger long after each sip.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Yuengling Golden Pilsner

Yuengling has a pretty new beer in their lineup. I first had the opportunity to try their Golden Pilsner at Grovetoberfest back in October. As you can see below, I also talked myself into a promo shirt to mark the occasion! 4.7% alcohol.

Nice grainy aroma with a little apple fruitiness. Tasty! Apple and grainy sweet flavors are immediately met by a crisp, hoppy bitter balance. Nice carbonation, smooth, super refreshing. Could easily put away a case of these (and that means 24)! Check it out.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sticky Treats Blonde Ale

Funky Buddha's Sticky Treats Blonde Ale is a rice ale brewed with vanilla. The label art sets your expectations that you should be ready to taste liquid rice crispies treats. 5.1% alcohol. 20 IBU.

Nice aroma with vanilla and marshmallows. Sweet and grainy flavors, again with plenty of vanilla and marshmallow to fulfill the promise. Just enough bitter balance. Not bad.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Strawberry Beret

Barrel of Monks Strawberry Beret hit the shelves of my local liquor store recently. This is a Belgian-inspired amber ale brewed with strawberries. Bottled 11/15/2018. Drink 12/15/2018. 5.0% alcohol.

Very nice aroma, spicy, sweet jammy, fruity. Lightly tart to start. Good body and richer than I was expecting. Caramel and strawberry jam flavors are prominent. There is a subtle Belgian yeast character and a little acidity in the finish. Nice sweet and tart contrast! I liked it (and I bet Prince would have too)!

Thursday, December 27, 2018


Today I'm checking out Genesee Brew House's GBH Juicy IPA. This is Pilot Batch #12 and is brewed with Simcoe, Crystal, Cascade and Amarillo Hops. Pounder can. 6.0% alcohol. 38 IBU.

Pleasant tangerine and citrus aroma. Nicely bitter to start with lots of citrus and tangerines. There is a spicy kick alongside plenty of pine and dank hop flavors. A fruity and juicy background develops with a little warmth and adds some balance. Nice beer.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A-10 Hop Hog Red IPA

Today I'm checking out Copperpoint Brewing's A-10 Hop Hog Red IPA. The beer name is a play on the Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt's "Warthog" nickname, and in fact the can's label depicts one, razor sharp teeth and all. 7% alcohol.

Nice color! Malty aroma full of sweet tropical fruit. Rich caramel flavor to start. Then a flood of hoppy, spicy goodness and bitter balance follows. Some tangy, fruity orange and mango tropical flavors shine through into the finish. Loved it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Schlafly Raspberry Hefeweizen

Total Wine recently brought some of Schlafly, The Saint Louis Brewery's beers to Miami. I grabbed a mixed 12-pack to check them out. Raspberry Hefeweizen turned out to be my favorite! 4.1% alcohol.

Excellent raspberry and wheaty aroma. And a huge raspberry flavor as well, nicely tart, with a wheaty twang here too. Full flavored, very refreshing!

Monday, December 24, 2018

22nd Anniversary Anni-Matter Double IPA

Stone Brewing: 22nd Anniversary Anni-Matter Double IPA. Each year Stone holds an internal competition pitting pairs of brewers against each other to create the next bestest thing. This year, that beer was created and named by brewers Jason Smith and Jose Flores. 9.1% alcohol. 81 IBU. "The NO HAZE DOUBLE IPA." And while this was bottled on 7/20/18, I drank it only a month later. Hey, I've been busy!

Big aroma with citrus, orange and pine. Terrific from the first sip! Super creamy with terrific orange and tangerine citrus. Tropical pineapple also shows up.

A little spicy with a great pine bite and bitterness. Well balanced overall. Dry at the finish with a hint of alcohol. Fruity and pine flavors linger long after each sip. Very nice!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Our Special Ale 2018

Merry Christmas! Anchor Brewing for the 44th time brewed its Winter Warmer Our Special Ale. Here is a history of their labels throughout the years, very cool! This year's unique tree is the Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis), native to North and South Korea and a symbol of peace. It also thrives in botanical gardens near the brewery. 6.9% alcohol.

Rich aroma, full of sweet caramel, honey and nutmeg. Similar flavors, showcasing caramel, honey and nutmeg. Toasty and herbal with a creamy texture. Sweet though there is a hoppy bitter answer. It could be the Christmas tree theme but hints of pine linger. Decent beer.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018 North Miami Brewfest

This year's North Miami Brewfest will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at MOCA PLAZA in North Miami. This beer festival is organized by FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

This is a very fun event and a showcase for the local craft brew industry, brewpubs and local homebrewers. In addition to local breweries pouring samples of their beers, there will also be several educational seminars delivered by the school's faculty and industry experts. This brewfest actually benefits the school's Brewing Science Program, so you'll see lots of students volunteering.

Several local restaurants will also be offering food samples from their restaurants. And the best part, the beer, food, seminars, music and activities are all included in the price of the tickets!

I've been to this event several times and give it an A+! The people are all friendly (you'll definitely have fun and make some new friends), the food is delicious, and you should absolutely sign up for one of the seminars! You can follow on Instagram here and be sure to use hashtag #nomibrewfest for any social media posts.

The event will be held at:

700 Northeast 124th Street
North Miami, FL 33161
Saturday 11/10/2018 from 12 pm - 5 pm
Tickets can be purchased here.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Weihenstephaner Festbier

I've had Weihenstephaner Festbier many times including this 2011 review, but since the agency representing the brewery sent me this bottle, I'll write another up-to-date quickie. 5.8 % alcohol. 11.2 oz.

Sweet, grainy, toasty aroma. Similar flavors full of the same sweet grain and toast. Hoppy, a little grassy. Some light fruity apple. Good body. Tasty.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Flower Power India Pale Ale

Today I'm checking out Ithaca Beer's Flower Power India Pale Ale. I wrote a little piece on this when I first tried it over 8 years ago, but since Total Wine brought a truckload of Ithaca Beer to Florida in their Brewery Direct program, I figured I'd give it another spot.

This time, the beer is in a can. Same great label design, trippy colors, bringing back hippie memories from my days at Cornell. "The Spirit of the Finger Lakes."

Beautiful color. The aroma is terrific and full of orange and citrus. Fruity orange and melon, some citrus come first. Sweet initially but with a spicy kick of an answer. Tangy and pretty bitter overall. The finish is dry. Nice beer!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sunrise City IPA

Around three years ago, my wife and I made a stop in Ft. Pierce to visit Sailfish Brewing. It was a very enjoyable experience! Today, Sailfish has some distribution all the way down to Miami, including their Sunrise City IPA, which I think the keg was kicked back when we visited! Things have changed with a bigger brewing system.

There's a story on the can to set your expectations. 7% alcohol. Very nice label artwork.

Beautiful melon, cantaloupe and tangerine aroma. Wow! Big pine flavors come first, spicy and resinous. There is also plenty of citrus, this beer really shows off the orange and tangerine flavors.

This beer is quite bitter, though some melon sweetness and balance comes with a little warmth. I liked it very much. Check it out! Visit the brewery if you can.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Single in Havana

Barrel of Monks' Single in Havana recently appeared in local distribution packages. This is a Belgian-inspired pale ale brewed with guava, brewed with Cuban pastelitos de guayaba in mind. 4.5% alcohol.

Cloudy pour. Nice guava aroma, nicely sweet with some faint yeast in the background. Flavors also showcase the guava, tart and sweet. There is definitely a taste of the "Belgian Inspiration" with a yeasty bite.

Citrus, fruity orange with a nicely hoppy component. Tasty beer!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Key Lime Pie

Funky Buddha's Key Lime Pie is still on the shelves at my local liquor store, but I guess you better grab a bottle soon since the brewery website says availability ends in August. I drank my bottle in June and am just getting around to publishing this now. Key Lime Pie is a Berliner-Style Fruit Ale brewed with key lime juice, cinnamon and vanilla. 5.0% alcohol.

Tons of lime and citrus in the aroma with just a hint of vanilla. Tart on palate to start, light pucker at first. Again, there is no lack of lime and citrus flavors. Vanilla nips can be found in the background but I didn't taste any cinnamon. Mostly a tangy, lightly tart, super-citrusy beer. Not bad.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Fruit-Full Fort

Dogfish Head recently released their Fruit-Full Fort, a variation on their Fort beer, this one being brewed with boysenberries, raspberries, blackberries and elderberries. 15-18% alcohol. I've never seen a range given before but that's what their website says. You'll be warned with the "Extreme" beer cap. Bottled 07/18/18 Drink 08/18/18. Yep I drank it at one month old despite the label note that it "ages well." Oh, one more thing--this was $10 for one 12 ounce bottle.

Brownish in color. Raspberries and blackberries dominate the aroma, not huge but nice. WOW on the flavor! Jammy, preserve-like flavors and texture. Alcohol is noticeable but not harsh and it really helps cut the richness of the beer.

I'm not sure one fruit stands out, but this beer is all about the fruit. Lots of flavor and interesting.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Saison Rose

Of course I'm going to check out Ommegang's Saison Rose, a new beer from an awesome brewery, despite its $6 price tag for one 12 ounce bottle. This beer is a blend of an oak aged beer and one brewed with hibiscus flowers and chardonnay grape juice. 7.7% alcohol.

Soft, fruity and floral aroma with a touch of wine character. Fruity and floral flavors dominate the start with tons of hibiscus. The Oak flavors are also immediately noticeable.

Tart, dry, yeasty with some hay flavors, light tannins. Grape flavors come through in the finish. For sure interesting, and while the flowers and grapes do dance, the hibiscus takes over in a negative way. Pass, especially for the price.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale appeared in my local Total Wine store as a Brewery Direct beer a few weeks ago. Yeah, I know most pumpkin beers are gross anyway, but in Miami's August???

So maybe you've heard this isn't really my favorite style of beer. But every year I need to check out one or two pumpkin beers for research purposes. This year, I'm not procrastinating and getting things out of the way early! 8.0% alcohol. 16 IBU.

Rich color. Little head. Earthy aroma with hints of cloves and cinnamon, not that big.

Flavors full of rich pumpkin, sweet, earthy, and lots of gingerbread. Very nice flavors, which the alcohol helps heighten with a little kick.

Cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg are all noticeable but nuanced enough to be a pleasant addition (not your normal beer "ruiner." Not bad!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Diplomat Beach Resort Beer Dinner Featuring Odd Breed Wild Ales

Last week, The Diplomat's Point Royal restaurant hosted a five-course beer dinner paired with beers from Pompano Beach's Odd Breed Wild Ales. Executive Chef Jorge Negron and Odd Breed Co-Owners Matt Manthe and Dan Naumko led the dinner, sharing information about each course and the specific beer it was paired with. Odd Breed is one of very few breweries that focuses exclusively on brewing wild ales.

All of the food was fantastic! The Wahoo Tiradito, Steak Tartare, Blue Maine Mussels, and Sweet Corn Cake with Mascarpone Ice Cream, well I pretty much named everything but those were all of my favorites. You can read the specifics on the menu posted below.

As for the beers, I really enjoyed the Thai Rack Jasmine Rice Saison with Lemongrass and the Dinkelwheat Dry Hopped Spelt Saison. And the aroma from the Torito Rye Wild Baltic Porter, I'd make out with that all day! You can also see some descriptions of the beers below as well.

Jorge Matt and Dan
Service was excellent as was the conversation. The restaurant's General Manager told us they are considering making this type of beer dinner a regular occurrence there. Point Royal is scheduled to host another beer dinner with Civil Society Brewing on 9/20/18. Definitely check that out and reserve your tickets here! I'll post more details soon. Hopefully, the series continues beyond that as well.

Odd Breed Wild Ales can be found at 50 NE 1st St, Pompano Beach, FL 33060

The Diplomat Beach Resort (which you probably don't need my help) is located at 3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33019

Monday, July 23, 2018

Barrel Runner 2018

Founders Brewing recently sent Barrel Runner to the Miami market. Part of their Barrel Aged Series, this is a Mosaic-hopped Imperial IPA aged in rum barrels. 2018 Release. 11.1% alcohol. 55 IBU

Holy Butterscotch, Batman! Huge aroma, full of rum, some generic fruitiness, lightly hoppy. You can really taste the rum from the start too, sweet and very rich, lots of butterscotch.

But after a few sips, sweet does collide with some hoppy flavors. Some citrus, light spiciness and hints of pine do show. The alcohol is noticeable, not hot but a little annoying after a while.

Big body. Bold flavors. Very interesting. The story on the back says this beer will make me believe I'm in the tropics. That wasn't necessarily the case; I was already believing that with the miserable weather here in Miami!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

La Playita Hop-Accented Pils

Local Miami Brewery The Tank recently started distributing a few of their beers locally. Freedom Tower Amber is packaged in puzzling 11.2 oz bottles while La Playita Hop-Accented Pils comes in 12 oz cans. Both were priced around $12 for a sixer, so they better be stud beers for super-local, low alcohol beers.

I grabbed La Playita first. Very nice can art depicting the beach and hotels that line it. "Brewed for the Beach!" says a tagline on the can. A little story on the back of the can sets your expectations. Put your phone in rotate lock or turn your head and you can read that below. 5.1% alcohol. Canned 05/30/2018 Drink 07/22/2018 (which was within one week of the first day it hit the shelves at Total Wine.)

Faint aroma, lightly lemony, hoppy and floral. Nice flavors, fruity apple and light sweet graininess meet some floral hoppy bitterness.

Super balanced! Not sure I'd call this a "Hop-Accented Pils." I mean, of course there are hops in this beer, but to offer that extra description should mean a much more pronounced hops character. And honestly that is what I wanted more of: a spicy bitter bite. That said, La Playita is simple, refreshing and flavorful.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Coconut Creme Ale

Total Wine in Florida currently has another Brewery Direct brand. I picked up Schlafly Coconut Creme Ale to check out. Part of their Special Release Series, the brewery calls this a dessert beer. 5.5% alcohol. 17 IBU.

Faint coconut aroma, very soft and unpronounced. Sweet flavors to start, toasty with a light fruitiness. Coconut builds with each sip. There is some bitter relief in the background. Pretty "one note" but not bad. Not exactly a dessert beer either in my opinion.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

San Franpsycho IPA

Anchor Brewing recently collaborated with local clothing and lifestyle brand San Franpsycho to create San Franpsycho IPA. This "Juicy India Pale Ale" is brewed with peaches and apricots. 6.3% alcohol.

Super juicy and fruity aroma, you can really smell both peaches and apricots. Flavors also full of peaches, tangy, nicely bitter, and a little dry. Definitely delivered on the fruity promises. Interesting and a winner!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Septima Saison

Today I'm checking out Coppertail's Septima Saison. Evan B. Harris' label art is excellent as usual, depicting the area around the brewery known as Ybor City, specifically 7th Avenue (Septima). Roosters really do run wild there while coffee aromas fill the air, super unique! In fact, part of the sales of this beer go to promote the area.

Aroma is a little spicy but mostly neutral. Lightly fruity flavors are followed by some yeasty funkiness. Spicy, peppery, some citrus. Solid though I liked the label art better than the beer. Probably just a style preference.